What exactly IS experiential learning?
Experiential learning is the development of knowledge, skills, abilities, values, behaviors and attitudes through first-hand experiences outside of the traditional classroom. Experiential learning involves learning through doing, but more importantly “learning through reflection on doing” and can involve an array of hands-on activities and experiences. Students who participate in experiential learning develop critical thinking and problem solving skills and are much better prepared for the workforce or advanced study after graduation.
What does this mean for you?
First-year and new transfer undergraduate students entering in fall 2016 are required to complete at least one experiential learning activity before graduation. Our faculty have identified courses and other activities that will fulfill the requirement for students in each school and college. Your advisor will help you find the right experiential learning opportunities for you.
When should you complete the experiential learning requirement?
You may fulfill the requirement at any time during your undergraduate studies. Some experiential learning opportunities are more exploratory, while others are geared toward professional preparation. They are all valuable, and many students will pursue multiple experiential learning opportunities.
If I change majors or have more than one major, will the requirement need to be fulfilled more than once?
No, once the requirement has been satisfied, you will not have to fulfill it again, even if you change majors or change colleges. Most students take advantage of more than one EL opportunity during their college careers, but it’s the first one that fulfills the requirement.
What are some examples of experiential learning?
Experiential learning takes many forms, including creative production, study abroad and field schools, internships, leadership opportunities, faculty-mentored research, and service-learning. You can check out the most recent list of approved activities. Talk with your advisor to find out what new opportunities might be available and what options are best for you.
Am I limited to just one experiential learning opportunity while at UGA?
Absolutely not. Experiential learning should be impactful experiences that help position students for success in the classroom and after graduation, and they’re not mutually exclusive. Once the Experiential Learning Requirement has been satisfied, you will not have to fulfill it again, but students can—and often do—engage in more than one form of experiential learning prior to graduation.
What if I can't afford to study abroad?
Most experiential learning activities are available at no additional cost to you—but if you are interested in study abroad, there are resources that can help with the added expense. You may use your federal or state financial aid, including the HOPE or Zell Miller scholarships, or student loans, to study abroad on a UGA study abroad or exchange program. There are also merit and need-based scholarships and fellowships to help support the cost of a program abroad. Further information about funding a study abroad experience may be found on the Education Abroad site under Funding & Scholarships.